Day: August 7, 2017

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1,641st victim of 9/11 attack identified


The 1,641st person killed during the World Trade Center terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, was identified on Monday, nearly 16 years later, the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office announced. 

The announcement marks more than two years since a victim was identified in the attack that marked a grim day in American history, PIX11 News reported. 

The man, whose name was not released upon the family’s request, was identified through DNA retesting. His remains were recovered at Ground Zero in 2001. 

However, 1,112 people — about 40 percent — who died on 9/11 still remain unidentified, according to the medical examiner’s office. 

Matthew Yarnell, 26, was the last victim the medical examiner identified back in March 2015, according to the New York Daily News. He was working at Fiduciary Trust Company International when the Twin Towers collapsed. 

Nearly 22,000 human samples recovered from Ground Zero have been tested and retested since 2001 in an effort to return the remains to the families. 

About 100 victims did not have living relatives or family members who participated in the identification process where scientists used relatives to match DNA uncovered.



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Google employee's anti-diversity manifesto prompts torrent of responses, sparks wider debate


An anonymous note accusing Google of embracing diversity while chilling intellectual freedom has unleashed a flood of divergent opinions and proves not everyone inside the tech giant toes the company line.

The 10-page memo, writtten by a male engineer and widely shared internally, was eventually leaked to Gizmodo. In it, the author slams the tech giant’s “left bias” for having created a “politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence.”

The engineer, who has not been identified publicly, argues that gender disparities in Google’s workforce can be explained by biological differences between men and women. The memo asserts Google should replace its existing diversity efforts with policies to allow for more “ideological diversity.”

In a recent annual report the company made public, 69% of Google’s employees were revealed as male and 55% of its employees were white.

Reaction to the memo, pro and con, has been vehement. 

“From what I’ve seen it’s been a mix of women saying, ‘This is terrible and it’s been distracting me from my work and it shouldn’t be allowed;’ Men and women saying ‘this is horrible but we need to let him have a voice;’ and men saying ‘This is so brave, I agree,’” one current Google employee told Motherboard.

The company’s VP for Diversity, Integrity and Governance, Danielle Brown, swiftly rebuked the anonymous engineer’s memo:

“Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organization, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google. And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.”

According to Motherboard, some employees wrote messages of support for the memo’s author, including this one:

“The fella who posted that is extremely brave. We need more people standing up against the insanity. Otherwise ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ which is essentially a pipeline from Women’s and African Studies into Google, will ruin the company,” another comment in the thread said.

The company’s diversity chief also addressed Google’s perceived lack of ideological diversity:

“We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company,” Brown wrote. “Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.”

The memo also led a range of current and former tech employees to tweet, pen their own essays and call out the engineer who wrote it.

Christopher Carbone is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.



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Chelsea Handler slammed for tweet calling for laws against 'people who think racism is funny'


Not everyone thinks Chelsea Handler is funny.

The comedian suggested in a recent tweet that there should be laws against “people who think racism is funny.”

“2 Chinese guys were arrested in Berlin for making nazi salutes,” Handler tweeted Sunday. “Wouldn’t it be nice 2 have laws here for people who think racism is funny?”

Many took to Twitter to slam the comedian for her tweet, calling her hypocritical as she has advocated for free speech. Some Twitter users pointed out Handler has made racist jokes in the past.

It wasn’t clear if Handler was joking with her message. A rep for the star did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.



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Richard O'Brien, pioneering Fox News creative director, dies at 60


Richard O’Brien, the creative director whose pioneering work helped build Fox News into America’s most watched and most trusted cable news channel, died over the weekend. 

O’Brien, a senior vice president at Fox News, played a key role in designing the look of the network from the time it was a fledging cable channel in 1996 through its unparalleled success over the next two decades.

Jon Scott, host of Fox News Channel’s “Happening Now,” called O’Brien’s work “groundbreaking.”

“He literally changed the look of TV on this network and our competitors changed to try and catch up,” Scott said Monday.

A Connecticut native, O’Brien got his start on CNBC and went on to help create “America’s Talking,” which later became MSNBC.

At Fox, he was known for his diligence and creativity.

“For 20 years Rich was at his desk here before 6 a.m. even after an hour-long train ride from his home in Connecticut,” Scott said.

O’Brien died a week before he would have turned 61. He is survived by his wife, Karen, and a son and daughter.



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Illegal immigrants may vote in Maryland city


A D.C. suburb in Maryland is considering a plan that would give undocumented immigrants the right to vote, making their city the largest in the Old Line State to do so.

The city, which is home of the University of Maryland’s main campus and nearly 30,000 residents, is weighing approval of the new measure to let noncitizens cast ballots for mayor and City Council, The Baltimore Sun reported Sunday.

Supporters of the measure say that local elections focus on issues like trash collection, and other municipal services and they are issues that affect residents of the city, regardless of their citizenship status.

“These are folks who have a significant stake in our community, and who rely on the facilities in our city,” College Park City Councilwoman Christine Nagle, who is sponsoring the measure, said to the newspaper. “To me, it just made sense.”

Others in the community say that immigrants should not have a say until they have completed the process of becoming a citizen.

“On a personal level, I do not agree that noncitizens should be voting,” College Park City Councilwoman Mary C. Cook said before adding that she will listen to her constituents before making a decision.

Jeff Werner, an advocate for tighter immigration restrictions with the advocacy group Help Save Maryland told the newspaper that he felt even more strongly about undocumented immigrants going to the voting booth.

“What gives them that privilege?” He asked.

A total of 10 municipalities across two counties allow noncitizens to vote in local elections. Voters in Takoma Park, a liberal enclave in Montgomery County, narrowly approved a referendum in making the town one of the first to allow the practice in Maryland.

It was preceded by Barnesville — a small town near Sugarloaf Mountain in Montgomery County — has allowed noncitizens to vote since 1918 and Somerset, which approved noncitizen voting in 1976.

The number of communities in Maryland adopting the measure has surged in recent months. Hyattsville in Prince George’s County approved immigrant voting just last year, followed by Mount Rainier, also in Prince George’s County.

The College Park proposal like the other municipalities, does not distinguish between legal permanent residents and undocumented immigrants.

Those in favor of the policy say that’s by design.

“We very intentionally made it so that we did not have questions about citizenship status,” said Patrick Paschall, a former member of the Hyattsville council who championed the legislation there said to the Sun. “It undermines the premise of noncitizen voting to try to draw a distinction.”

Click here for more from The Baltimore Sun.



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Mueller investigation could be finished before midterm elections, says Robert Ray


Former Whitewater Independent Counsel Robert Ray on Monday said the Robert Mueller investigation into alleged collusion between President Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia may end before the mid-term elections.

“This investigation could be responsibly and swiftly concluded with the major prosecutorial decisions if any to be made before the midterm elections,” he told FOX Business’ Connell McShane.

The former federal prosecutor said that Mueller must make haste with the investigation to avoid losing the patience of the American public.

“You get sort of 18 months to two years to kind of either show something for what you’ve done or not, otherwise the public patience has been exhausted,” he said.

Ray also discussed why federal investigations such as the Trump-Russia probe take so much time to conclude.

More from FOXBusiness.com

“Putting people before the grand jury, issues arise along the way about whether or not someone will go voluntarily or one who asserts their Fifth Amendment privilege and whether to compel testimony and the consequences of that. If you are talking about prosecuting lower level people in order to get to higher level people, that’s a time consuming process,” he said.
 



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Italy clashes with Libya, NGOs over what to do with migrants overwhelming country – Nearly 200 migrants storm Spanish border post, Red Cross says


Italy can’t build a wall, nor does it want to, but the debate over how to slow the flows of refugees and migrants here is reaching a fever pitch.

The problems of where to house them, and how to employ them, have not been solved.  About 614,000 have arrived in Italy from North Africa since 2014. Italy accuses the rest of Europe of not helping to spread the burden.

One solution, agreed between Italy and the UN-backed Libyan government, is to send Italian ships to keep the traffickers’ boats from setting out toward Italy in the first place. This would potentially discourage people traveling to Libya from various African countries and devastate the traffickers. Those journeys are fraught with violence and risk. And that is before the risky sail from Libya.

ITALY PM: FEARS FOR MIGRANTS IN LIBYA RESOLVABLE

But given that the situation in Libya is fragile, this plan’s future may be tenuous, even dangerous.  Libya has two competing governments now, and the one that is not UN-backed doesn’t want Italian ships in its waters—it has even accused beleaguered Italy of being the exporter of trouble.

Abdullah Bilhaq, spokesman for the Libyan House of Representatives in Tobruk, the alternate government, said last week: “The Libyan House of Representatives warns against the Italian state’s attempt to export illegal migration from its territory to Libyan territory by returning tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to Libyan territory.”

One top general with the opposing Tobruk government in Libya has hinted the Italian ships off its waters could provoke an attack by Libyan forces. 

EUROPEANS VOW MORE HELP TO STEM LIBYA-ITALY MIGRANT FLOW

But there are even rifts within the Italian government about the justice in returning migrants to Libya, a place where they have suffered abuse and violence at the hands of the traffickers and a network of thugs who prey on the vulnerable.

A junior government minister in Italy over the weekend suggested “making those people go back means condemning them to an inferno.”

In the meantime, suddenly, the Libyans themselves—the coast guard—have started turning migrants back, to the tune of around 800 over the weekend. All of these strategies and debates may have led to what amounts to a major reduction in arrivals in Italy for July when compared to July last year.

Still, the numbers overall for the year are almost on par with the figures for 2016. And this, experts say, is no longer tenable for Italy.

RIGHTS GROUP WARNS OF BIND FOR MIGRANTS AS EU LOOKS TO LIBYA

Another measure Italy has turned to is squeezing the NGO’s who rescue one third of the people saved at sea. For some time, the government has suspected that some of these organizations have been working hand in hand with the traffickers—not for any monetary benefits or insidious reasons—but to scoop up those taking off from Libya before they fall into distress. 

The Italian government now says this is frankly a pull for the migrants and arrested an aid ship last week, in Lampedusa, that was carrying migrants. The ship was operated by the German agency Jugend Rettet, and reportedly Italian investigators picked up recordings of communications between traffickers and rescuers—making the scenario look like a convenient, almost staged, hand-off for the smugglers.

Doctors Without Borders has also been accused, as the anti-establishment Five Star Movement here would say, of running “sea taxis.” The group issued a statement denying that was the case.

“We hope any doubts can be dispelled soon to end this trickling of accusations that poisons the atmosphere in an ever gloomier situation,” the group said.

The government is demanding NGO’s sign a code of conduct if they want to bring rescued migrants to its ports, but many have said that goes against their principles of simply saving lives. But Italy said freely taking them to Italy is not helping the country.

“Because migrants arrive in Italy, we must find a balance between their rights and those of the country that hosts them,” Interior Minister Marco Minniti, said in an interview over the weekend. “We need complete trust between those who carry out the rescues and the country that opens up its ports.”

Amy Kellogg currently serves as a Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent based in Milan, Italy. She joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in 1999 as a Moscow-based correspondent. Follow her on Twitter: @amykelloggfox



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Bullets alone can't solve Alabama's feral hog problem…


Updated August 06, 2017

Posted August 06, 2017



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San Antonio firefighters rescue trapped driver caught in raging water


Texas firefighters on Monday saved a driver who became trapped in his SUV when raging floodwater swept through a San Antonio street. 

The driver was on Pinn Road about 10:30 a.m. when his car became stuck in the brown water, FOX29 reported. He sat on the roof of the car as firefighters extended ladders and prepared a boat for the rescue.

More than 30 minutes later, fire crews were able to reach the driver, who remained on the roof of the SUV to avoid being swept away by the “river.”

Firefighters pulled the man, who appeared unharmed, to safety. The SUV then began bopping in the water after the weight of the driver was lifted.

Drainage issues have marred the area due to construction in the neighborhood, officials said. 

Click here for more from FOX29. 



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'Good girl' teenage cheerleader accused of killing, burying newborn pleads not guilty


A teenage cheerleader who was described as a “good person” — despite allegedly killing and burning her infant before burying the baby in her backyard — pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder charges in an Ohio court on Monday.

A judge order Brooke “Skylar” Richardson, 18, to house arrest and set her bond to $50,000, according to WCPO. Prosecutors asked for a $1 million bond. The judge said he set the bond to ensure Richardson would appear in court, adding he believed she wasn’t a flight risk.

Warren County prosecutor David Fornshell said Richardson “purposefully caused the death of the child” who police believe was killed on May 6 or May 7. The body of the newborn was discovered outside of her Carlisle home, about 40 miles north of Cincinnati, on July 14. 

The exact cause of the baby’s death may never be known, because the body was badly burned and decomposed when authorities uncovered the remains. 

“To be frank with you, I’m not sure we ever will provide to you the exact medical cause of death, and the reason for that is because the child was, after death, burned and subsequently buried, and there was significant decomposition to the body,” Fornshell said.

Richardson was initially charged with reckless homicide, but charges were later upgraded to include aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, child endangering, evidence tampering and corpse abuse — all of to which she pleaded not guilty. 

Richardson’s attorney called the teenager, who used to be a cheerleader and honor student at Carlisle High School, a “good person.” Richardson planned to attend the University of Cincinnati in the fall.

But Fornshell said he believed the teenager’s obsession “with appearances and how things appear to the outside world” may have been the driving force that led the “good” girl to kill, FOX19 reported. 

“Skylar and her family, particularly her mother, were pretty obsessed with external appearance and how things appear to the outside world, and if members of the community were to find out that the Richardson girl was pregnant, and perhaps gave birth, and even if, after giving birth, gave that child up for adoption, that was something that was simply not going to be accepted in that household, at least by Skylar and her mother,” Fornshell said in court Monday. 

It’s unclear who the father of Richardson’s baby is. Richardson is the only person charged in the case. 

Click here for more from FOX19. 



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